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Polls and Media Reports Exaggerate Climate Change Backlash, Says Stanford Polling Expert
The percentage of Americans who believe global warming is real dropped slightly from 80% in 2008 to 75% late last year, still a robust majority that reflects a continued agreement with the conclusions of climate science, a leading specialist on survey research told a Capitol Hill briefing co-sponsored by AAAS.
Jon A. Krosnick, professor of communication, political science, and psychology at Stanford University, said the dip was caused by the recognition that the earth’s average temperature was cooler in 2008 than in previous years rather than a backlash against scientists as a result of recent news stories questioning the credibility of the research effort on climate change.
Krosnick, who has been conducting national surveys on climate change for more than a decade, said his latest findings differ from other polls, including one by the Pew Research Center last fall, which suggest that there has been a sharp decline in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence for global warming.
He presented his latest polling results at a 12 March briefing for congressional staff and others on “Climate Policy: Public Perception, Science and the Political Landscape” co-sponsored by the AAAS Center for Science, Technology and Congress, the American Meteorological Society, the American Statistical Society, and the American Geophysical Union. Krosnick was joined by Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University, who laid out the scientific evidence for global warming, and Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, who discussed how the current political landscape affects prospects for combating climate change.
To learn more about the climate briefing, read the full story.
22 March 2010